November 5, 2012
Maryland has seen its share of corrupt politicians, including some convicted of a crime while in office. Unfortunately, state law has long had something of a catch -- convicted politicians are only booted from elected office at sentencing, which can be weeks, if not months, after a guilty verdict is handed down.
This constitutional amendment would suspend elected officials from office the moment they are found guilty, automatically removing them from office after a guilty plea or when the appeals process is exhausted. That would, for example, prevent a repeat of Baltimore's experience with Mayor Sheila Dixon, who was found guilty of stealing gift cards in 2009 but continued in her job until a plea agreement was negotiated.